Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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Friendship

In my twenty-one (soon to be twenty-two) years on this planet I have made my fair share of friends. I have also lost contact with the majority of this fair share of friends. Am I sad about it? No. Do I regret those friendships? No. Would I try to rekindle them again? Probably not.

People see friendships as something you’ll always have. Once you’re friends, you will always be friends and I find that, frankly, a little absurd. My closest group of friends (there are five of us) are the ones I’ve known since I was 13. We stay in contact regularly and try to meet up as often as we can and before we start missing each other. We do that because we like each other even when we don’t.

I then have the group of friends who I’ve met recently, through my NCTJ or university, who I try and stay in contact with fairly regularly and I have one or two childhood friends that even though I don’t stay in contact with, we’ll always be friends and when we meet up – it’s like it always has been because we grew up together and bonds like that are just too darn strong.

Then there are the other friends who I was really close to but lost along the way. Through a lack of staying in touch, through a falling out, or just through a natural occurrence or our lives taking different paths and us not feeling it was worth the effort to continue those friendships. That doesn’t make the friendship we did have any less special and it doesn’t take away from everything we shared while we were friends but, like many human relationships, some have their best by dates and there’s no point trying to deny that.

I would not take back any of the friendships I had and lost. I learnt a lot from them and even the ones that ended badly had their fabulous moments that are now a part of the fabric of my life. It doesn’t mean I want to rekindle those friendships even those that didn’t end on bad terms but just fizzled out. I believe they did so for a reason and if you stopped trying then there’s no point flogging a dead horse.

It’s nice to keep in touch and say hi once in a while if you cross paths again but there’s no point pretending to be back in the golden years of the friendship you once had. Just because you are no longer close to someone doesn’t detract from the fact you once were.

It sounds horribly superficial but like clothes there are those you keep forever because they are too much a part of your life to let go, there are those pieces of clothes that you once were obsessed by and completely loved but are now ready to give away to charity and let it be enjoyed by someone else and there are those that you keep but never really wear apart from every once in a while when it feels good to be nostalgic.

It doesn’t mean you’ll look back on the pictures of you wearing the clothes you gave away and shudder that you actually tried it, and you shouldn’t remember those clothes and regret them happening – they were right for the time, they worked then, and they made you happy in that moment. They stopped doing that and it meant letting them go was the best thing but it doesn’t mean you need to go back to the charity shop and buy it again to try once more. You’re not the same. Things change. People grow and relationships will sometimes have to drift, break and end as a result. It’s no bad thing, just a part of human life.


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A love story in 100 words

There once was a woman (not a girl) who met a man.

They did not fall in love immediately but got to know each other, became more and more curious and enthralled and eventually without even realising it had happened, they fell in love.

It was good, then hard, then they worked at it and kept working at it and it stayed being good. There were no break ups and no dramas. There were fights and shouting and apologies quickly followed.

There are kisses, hugs, touching. It is fun and hard and entertaining and exciting and difficult and easy. Indescribable.


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Assume nothing

Somebody wise once said assumptions are the root of all evil, somebody clever repeated it to me when I was around 15 years old and walking home from school. It has stuck with me since then, and even though sometimes I don’t listen to this golden nugget of truth, it always proves to be correct.

It is very easy to assume; mainly because we all think we know best (an assumption in itself but I am classing it as a generalised truth) and it is easier than asking questions and actually finding out the truth or at least the way things actually are. It is a natural mechanism for us to assume. It keeps us safe and makes us cautious but a lot of the time, in today’s society, assumptions are not necessary and in most scenarios do more harm than good.

Assumptions create problems. They make you judge before you have even allowed yourself to give whatever it is a chance – and that’s always a scary thing. Although life is full of unlimited opportunities, they become more limited specific with the more choices you make. Or at least certain other choices become a lot harder. Making assumptions just closes a few more doors for you because you decide something isn’t worth following or that it is something you don’t want to, or can’t, do.

Assume nothing. Life would be easier that way. By assuming nothing, you are able to approach everything fresh – not fresh as in you know nothing, but fresh as in you are prepared for anything. You wouldn’t throw a carton of milk just because the sell by date is a day out without smelling it first to make sure. Not the greatest of examples I know but I’m currently ill (true story, I feel like death warmed up) so bare with me – or better yet think of your own silly assumptions and let me know.

You’re setting yourself up for a fall by making an assumption. You are bound to be wrong because, thankfully, humans don’t know everything and the world will surprise you. Sometimes it won’t, but often it will and more importantly, the majority of the time you’re likely to surprise yourself.

Don’t assume something just because you’re afraid. Don’t use preconceptions to make assumptions. They are no longer a safety mechanism – for that we can use common sense and instincts. Hurrah!


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I ate too many skittles and now I feel sick

I have a sweet tooth. That is probably the reason why I am having three fillings on Friday, much to the delight of my dentist.

Anyway, I ate too many skittles and now I feel sick.

My greed got the better of me. I had a packet of skittles on Sunday and it left me craving more. So I bought two packets on Tuesday and then bought a party pack (which is effectively two and a half packets, maybe three at a stretch – do not let the name fool you into thinking it’s bigger) today. I have eaten half of that party pack and now I feel sick.

I feel bloated and my belly has ballooned so I look like I have stuffed a small pillow under my shirt. I feel like I need to curl into a ball and hibernate to take away the uncomfortable feeling and yet I still want more of them. I have had to hide the packet inside my cabinet under about four jumpers and those damn sour skittles are still calling me.

I WILL NOT BREAK.


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When I can’t find the words

When I can’t find the words, or they feel inadequate, I usually look at pictures and other people’s words or go and do something else to see if I can find them.

Sometimes the words will come right to the edge of my brain and then when I try to grab them, they slip away like eels. It leaves me a little confused because I don’t know how to express how I’m feeling and that leaves me with deep thoughts. But I enjoy my time swimming in them.

Today, maybe because I’m tired, I couldn’t catch my words. I stepped away and it didn’t help. I looked at other words and that didn’t help and then I went into my contemplating mood and realised how I was feeling but I still couldn’t find the words that gave those feelings justice. I started randomly browsing and after less than 30 seconds I found an image that described my feelings – in the grand scheme of things – completely.

Azealia Banks by Matt Barnes. Found on piccsy.com

Azealia Banks by Matt Barnes. Found on piccsy.com

I am happy. I am lucky. And, most of all, I am extremely grateful. This picture sums it up very well. Sometimes, I just can’t find the words and there’s no shame in that. An image can speak for itself.


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No excuse for racism

The attack in Woolwich, London is horrific. If you haven’t heard, read or seen the reports, a solider (confirmed by the area’s local MP) has been killed – apparently beheaded by machete (yet to be confirmed by police) by two men. It’s a horrific, and disgustingly violent incident and my thoughts are with the victim’s family, friends and those living in Woolwich.

However, what is just as disgusting is the amount of worryingly open racism that is now being aired on social media.

The two attackers have been dubbed by the BBC as “looking and talking like muslims”. How can someone look like a certain religion? Anyone can be a muslim, a christian, a buddhist; there is no certain look or type or feature that can distinguish if someone is a part of a certain religion. The BBC were wrong to claim those two men were muslims without having it confirmed. As a news source that is expected to be reliable and unbiased (obviously this is not a perfect world), this is simply not good enough. Rule number one is to not assume anything.

I know racism stems from a lack of education and a whole load of ignorance but it is simply unacceptable for people to promote messages of hate. One person does not represent a whole religious sector. If this is a terrorist attack, which news sources are reporting it is – though it does not seem to have been confirmed by any police or government officials – then promoting hate and acts of violence against a group of people is just as bad as the act of violence itself.

Every religions fundamental message is one of peace, happiness, faith and hope. Extremists twist a religion to make their actions acceptable for them. It is stupid, and cruel to stereotype in this way. Exclaiming on Facebook or Twitter that “all muslims need to go back to their country” or that we “should bomb them all” makes me so angry that I see red.

By this stupid, irrational and ignorant thought process, then every single person on this planet would be dead. Christians would be dead for the actions of Christian governments, Catholics would be dead due to the immoral actions of a few priests, those who practice Islam would be dead due to a few extremists, white people would be dead due to the slavery trade – I could go on.

A crime is committed by a person, not a religion. A crime is committed by an individual, not a group. Blame the human, not the religion and before you decide to promote your ignorant, vile views on a public medium do think twice. Spreading hate is not the way to spread unity. Hate only destroys and spreading racist, hate-filled messages makes you just as bad as those who actually carry them out.


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Please stop selling me body confidence

To all companies and media outlets trying to sell me a beauty product,

I am in my twenties and have been told my various outlets that I must be skinny to be beautiful, have sexy curves, and be confident in the body I have – even though on the next page of your magazine or in another advertisement, you tell me I don’t have the right body.

You are trying to tell me that I am not good enough. That I should be skinny because it photographs well or because it looks good. You try to tell me you care when all you are doing is selling a product.

Please stop trying to sell me body confidence. It would be a far better marketing concept if you were honest. I know this is hard because you are selling the exact same product as your competitors but it would be better than lying that you care. It doesn’t make sense to tell me that I should be happy in my body and then tell me to buy your product so that I can do that. It also doesn’t make sense that you would pay thousands of pounds to have your advertisement selling “body confidence” (though you only show a certain kind of type and look in your adverts) in a magazine that tells us how to lose weight, dress so that we are sexy and look skinny and remind us exactly what is wrong with the way we look.

It seems pretty hypocritical to me that you tell me I should love my skin and then only show models that are typically beautiful in some way, be it in the face, body or both. They fit into all the moulds that you apparently dismiss.

I am just like everyone else and you try to break me with unrealistic or hypocritical and apparently inspiring body messages and then build me back up so I will buy your mediocre product and conform to whatever shape I have to be, to be someone who buys your product.

If you want me to buy from you, then just use all those wonderfully crazy science words and tell me what the product does. Just please stop selling me body confidence when you are part of the industry, and usually part of the same brand, who are telling me that I should be ashamed of it because there is just so much to improve.

Stop treating me like an idiot. Though you may only see me as a body – as a physical entity and nothing more. I have a brain – thoughts, ambitions and opinions. I am not defined by my body but by my actions, like choosing not to buy your product. So please stop selling me body confidence. It isn’t fooling anyone.

From a lost customer.